Sorry folks. I know the title isn’t super eloquent. But there’s just no way around it– sometimes, farming sucks. It’s not always about serene sunsets & pretty pictures…every job has its off days, and farming is no exception. Today just happened to be one of those days.
As you know, we raise pigs on pasture. A few months ago, we purchased a full blooded heritage breed Berkshire sow to become our new breeder. She was beautiful!
Well....you know pigs like to wallow in the mud (they do this because they don't sweat and this is a way to cool off)....and so two weeks ago, she got stuck. We can only assume that she tried to get up and out on her own but when you weigh 400lbs, that can become a bit difficult, which ultimately caused an injury and she couldn't use her back legs. We tried everything we could to help her...Lord knows we tried hard. It's still hot outside in the afternoon, and pigs can't be in the sun without being able to cover up with mud, so we had to bring a shelter to her. This ended up being an abandoned mobile chicken coop that Rick lifted over top of her with a tractor and then put tarps over to keep the sun and any rain off of her. We called the vet and began administering medications to try and help her. We brought her food, boiled eggs, cornbread....anything we could think of to try and get her to eat, which most days was very little. We called the vet back out and were told that she had a spinal injury. It wouldn't have mattered what we tried, nothing was going to fix her. This morning we had to put her down, and in the process, we were informed that she was carrying nine piglets. So yeah...today just sucked.
But in the process, here's what also happened. Every day, my husband and I talked together. We brainstormed ideas of things we could try. We talked about what was next, how our plans for her were now changed, and now we need a new plan. We brought her to the farm together and we took her away from the farm together as well. We have some of our best talks and planning sessions in the front seat of that Dodge pickup truck. In many relationships, couples are like two ships passing in the night. They just exist and don't come together, and if they do, it's rare. So in many ways, running a farm creates an environment where conversations must happen, which for us, brings us closer and makes our relationship stronger.
It wasn’t the best day. But it creates the best of days for us.
Because the truth is that some days, farming sucks.
But the beauty is that, some days....by the grace of God...farming sucks.